A poll for the union Unite shows the public supports health workers in their campaign for an above-inflation pay rise.
A survey of more than 1,000 people showed that almost two thirds thought a continued below-inflation one per cent pay cap was unfair.
Three out of five of those questioned said they believed industrial action being taken by NHS workers was justified.
According to Frances O'Grady, of the Trades Union Congress, this is the first time there has been a national strike over pay in the NHS since 1982.
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